European Research in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Alain Fayolle and Paula Kyrö
Chapter 8: Assessment and Promotion of Entrepreneurial Initiative and Attitudes towards Entrepreneurship: The Case of Estonia
Urve Venesaar and Indrek Jakobson INTRODUCTION Increasing entrepreneurial initiative has been a subject for discussion in the European Union countries in recent years with the objectives of initiating various political measures and activities, supporting national competitiveness and development, as well as setting up new enterprises and creating jobs. Entrepreneurship also contributes to personal fulﬁlment and the achievement of social objectives. To this end, development of entrepreneurship has been encouraged by many documents adopted in the European Union in recent years (for example European Commission, 2003b; European Commission, 2000). Also, a number of measures have been implemented and planned by the Estonian government towards supporting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture in the country. Entrepreneurship is viewed in general as a mindset and process to create and develop economic activity within a new or existing organization (European Commission, 2003b). Entrepreneurship is also deﬁned as ‘the nexus of two phenomena: the presence of lucrative opportunities and the presence of enterprising individuals’ (Shane and Venkataraman, 2000). These deﬁnitions refer to a considerable round of diﬀerent factors inﬂuencing the level of entrepreneurial initiative in the country. Generally these are factors creating a required external environment on the one hand, and on the other hand, the existence of persons who have motivation and capacity to identify business opportunities and to pursue them. In this chapter both sides are considered based on the case of Estonia and including some comparisons with other countries where available. Although in previous research individual-level factors were assessed...
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